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People Are Outraged After This Politician Said She Could Live On $40 A Day Welfare

Liberal backbencher Julia Banks has sparked outrage after claiming she could live on $40 a day during a discussion about Newstart on ABC Radio on Wednesday evening.

Banks joins in for a selfie with prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Newstart is the government’s income support system, designed for Australians to access while they’re unemployed and looking for work. The program is in the news as the country readies for the federal Budget next Tuesday.

The Labor party has promised a review of Newstart if elected, after leading economist Chris Richardson said the current system was “embarrassingly inadequate”.

“We’ve got to focus on the fact that the best form of welfare is a job and the Newstart program gets people into work,” Banks told ABC Radio host Rafael Epstein.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

“I could live on $40 a day knowing that the government is supporting me with Newstart to look for employment.”

When asked where she planned on living while making only $40 a day, Banks said the Newstart allowance was designed for people to get into work, not designed as a wage.

“We can’t keep throwing billions of dollars into Newstart, then the economy just flags.”

Banks was heavily criticised by radio listeners immediately after her claims and was called “out of touch” by more than one.

“All I can say is the dignity of having a job and finding work is what our policy is about,” she said.

Online, people were also irked and some were quick to point out the Liberal backbencher – whose base salary is almost $200,000 – owns five properties, three of which are investments.
Ben Eltham @beneltham

Julia Banks owns 5 houses, including three investment properties

09:52 PM – 02 May 2018

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Christine Sandoval @human4good

@abcmelbourne @juliabanksmp @Raf_Epstein Says Julia Banks – proudly supported by the taxpayers of Australia. Happy with your travel expenses etc? Wouldn’t want you to go without

07:36 AM – 02 May 2018

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Many challenged her to face up to her words and prove she could live on $40 a day.
David Smith @RhunWords

Julia Banks better follow through and live on $40 a day for real. And not for a couple days either, I want her to do it for a month. Two. Six. A whole year. Claiming you can live on $40 a day is easy to do when you know you’ll be back to $200,000pa in a week.

03:30 AM – 03 May 2018

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Emilio, Baròn Death @krONik

“$40/day is enough to live on!” @juliabanksmp – entitled LNP pollie with her snout in the ever giving taxpayer funded trough. Prove it. Live on $40/day for a fortnight. RT if you want to challenge Julia Banks to live on $40/day for a fortnight. #AUSpol

09:25 PM – 02 May 2018

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Dr Nobody @nick__nobody

@abcmelbourne @juliabanksmp @Raf_Epstein Do it Julia Banks, do it for 3 months, pay $200/week rent, have no savings, no car because you can’t afford rego, no insurance, no health cover, wear the same shoes every day, get on a 3 year dental waiting list. Do it. #auspol

10:04 AM – 02 May 2018

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Glenn Davies @glennfdavies

I challenge Julia Banks to live on 400 bucks a fortnight. Feeling good about how the Government is paying doesn’t provide food, board, transport, bills, phone. Saving up for a warm coat or a pair of dry shoes difficult. So unfair.

09:29 PM – 02 May 2018

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Labor MP Tim Watts said the Newstart allowance was too low and many things, like public transport costs, would “obliterate” that $40 a day.
“Julia’s correct in one sense to say that it shouldn’t be a replacement income, but it is so low at the moment that it is destroying people’s ability to get into the workforce.”

On Monday, a study of over 67,000 properties listed for rent across Australia found just three were considered affordable for people on Newstart.

June 13, 2018 10:56 am